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Ace Your Interview: Getting Rid Of Filler Words

Ace Your Interview: Getting Rid Of Filler Words | Recruiting in Motion

There are a million little things you can do to ace your interview. But one you might not think about is something we all do to one degree or another. Do you use too many filler words like “um,” “like,” or “so” during an interview? As humans, we dislike silence, but filler words can be even worse. Here are ways to avoid these fillers to come across as confident and professional.

How Can You Get Rid of Filler Words During an Interview?

Listen to Others

When you recognize how often people use fillers in regular conversation, you can begin eliminating them from your vocabulary. Usually, it’s not until we acknowledge the problem that we realize what’s happening. So start listening to what others say and pay attention to yourself when you speak.

Practice with a Friend

Before your interview, take some time to practice with a friend or family member. This puts you into an actual conversational situation so you can track when to eliminate some of the most common fillers. Have your practice partner let you know whenever you use a filler word so you can be conscientious of it in your interview.

Record Your Speech

Another good tool that public speakers use that can be adapted to interview prep is recording yourself. Before your interview, go over your career objective, questions you might have for your interviewer, and other things you’re likely to mention. Listen to your recording and note when you include filler words.

Pause and Take a Breath

Embrace the silence. Part of the reason we use filler words is that we’re designed to dislike silence in a conversation. Every time you feel the urge to start a sentence with “um,” pause and take a breath. Keep the “um” internal, and then begin the sentence naturally.

Know When to Say You Don’t Know

Filler words often come up when we feel caught in a corner. You may find yourself stumbling over words to provide a coherent answer if you’re asked a question to which you don’t know the answer. Instead, it’s okay to admit you don’t know something. In an interview, if you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to, say something like, “I would have to look into that further. I’ll be happy to do that and send an email after the interview.” This shows the person interviewing that you’re willing to think critically about things and do the research to find the answer.


Are you ready to ace your next interview?

Contact the team at Recruiting in Motion today.


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